A second round of vote on the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, February 6 in six towns in the southwest Mindanao, including in Tagoloan, Balo-i, Pantar, Munai, Nunungan, and Tangcal, all located in northwestern Lanao del Norte, as well as in 67 residential areas located in North Cotabato. The vote will determine if the current Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will be reformed as Bangsamoro Autonomous Region and granted further independence. Violence and unrest during or following elections cannot be ruled out.
The law would create a new political entity in southeastern Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago. The act is part of the peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and is an attempt to quell other ongoing insurgencies in the area. Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago remains the location of several armed insurgent, criminal, and terrorist groups, including Abu Sayyaf.
Individuals in the affected areas are advised to monitor the situation, avoid polling stations and government buildings, remain vigilant for suspicious behavior and objects, and refrain from discussing political topics in public or on social media.
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